Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On The Darkened Pier

Come two o'clock I haven't been feeling sleepy lately, and I haven't been over indulging in coffee or sleep or anything. So, despite my best endeavor I end up wandering somewhere with my camera in hand.This time it was White Street Pier, a place that has already been the object of an essay in this blog. The pier juts out perhaps a third of a mile from the beach, and it is frequented by anglers, romantics, insomniacs and off duty dispatchers in the middle of the night. Technically the pier isn't closed as long as the activities taking place in it's further reaches aren't illegal my colleagues tell me no one will be moved along. To me the pier is a place of reflection and strolling it's sturdy cement and asphalt length puts me in mind of being on a boat. It's odd really to stand behind the ample barrier at the edge and watch the waves roll by, refract and head back out to sea, and to find oneself at the same time on a fixed and immovable object. On a boat one expects a certain amount of motion in relation to the waves; not here. On the pier there is time to lean against the railing as and watch the water, or the lights ashore:Which makes the West Martello Tower look like a small hill...I always found it astonishing how things change their appearance between night and day when I was living in the water. At night seen from this angle it looks like a hill, by day it looks like the Garden Club,which is precisely what it is. This next picture looking seaward from halfway up the pier makes it look like dawn is breaking. It wasn't- I just put the camera on a 15 second exposure, propped it on the railing and let 'er rip; to see what it might look like you understand. The yellow strip at the bottom isn't a beach -it's the cement parapet!:I suppose there is a municipal obligation to keep these corners lit up but it seems odd sometimes to see the lights blazing and no one home. The entire island looks that way from the pier, looking up White Street with the traffic lights changing and no one there to watch:There were a few people out on the pier in the middle of the night. A guy (I guess that was what it was) sleeping al fresco:The benches are designed not to be slept on, with hand rails built in, thus preserving them for those among the population who prefer to sleep sitting upright:For some youngsters the pier is a romantic rendezvous:To me the large plaza at the end, embossed with a decaying seal of the Rotary Club, of all things!- seemed rather empty and bleak:And then a lone figure muffled in a jacket appeared and silently crossed the plaza to look out pensively at the waters to the west:A good time and place to be pensive if you have something to work out.